For a Hall of Famer, Sadao Kondo had a fairly unremarkable career as an active player. Over 12 seasons, Kondo, a pitcher, had a 55-71 won-lost record in only 1,239 innings. He did have one outstanding year, 1946, in which he won 23
games and had an ERA of 2.18 over 300 1/3 innings. Early in 1947, however, he badly injured his middle finger. In 1948, after a trade to the Dragons, he did log 272 2/3 innings, but slipped to a dreadful 7-23 record. His career went mostly
downhill from there. From 1981 to 1991, Kondo was a Japan Pro Baseball manager. While he did win a Central League pennant with the Dragons in 1981, his overall career managerial numbers are not particularly impressive, as he had a
lifetime .474 winning percentage. The reason Kondo is a Hall of Famer is that he was the first Japanese manager to divide his pitching staff into starters and relievers. Until Kondo did this with the Dragons' pitchers, Japanese starters
typically started and relieved. In fact, the team's top starter was often also its closer! Because of Kondo's unspectacular playing career, few cards were issued of him. In fact, only three cards depicting Kondo as an active player are listed in
the Japanese Baseball Card Checklist & Price Guide, Vintage Edition 2.1. All three of these cards are scarce. This is one of two different Kondo cards found in the 1947 JBR 73 set. It has a scarcity factor of R4, meaning that 10 or fewer
examples are known. The closeup portrait offered here is the only Kondo card during his playing days in which his face can be seen clearly. If you are trying to collect at least one card of each Hall of Fame member, this card would fit nicely
into your collection. Blank backed.
Size: Approximately 1 9/16" x 2 1/2"
Condition: Good, with paper residue on the blank back due to previous mounting in an album.